Make a New Year Resolution the Right Way

The RIGHT Way to Make a New Year Weight Loss Resolution

A resolution is a “firm decision to do or not do something”, it’s a promise but unlike most promises it is made to oneself. Many people set a new year resolution but sadly year after year the same goals are simply copy and pasted onto a new list.

This year, let’s make a weight loss resolution that sticks.

Be sure to download our free New Year Resolution Worksheet to help you apply these tips and stay on track.

Write it down

This goes without saying, unless it is written it does not exist. The resolution deserves an official record. Putting pen to paper also makes it easier to check off each goal once completed.  

Be Specific and Make Goals as “I” Statements

Make goals specific and always state “I will” or the present tense of the resolution as if it already exists. 

Examples of “I” Statements:

“I will reach my goal weight of 130 pounds by (enter specific date including year)”

“I will walk daily from 6 -7 pm for 1 hour 5 days a week”

“I will meal prep every Sunday and Wednesday for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks daily”

“I exercise 60 minutes a day 5 times a week”

Start with no more than 3 weight loss goals

Keep it Simple.

Less goals are more attainable and achieving simple goals builds confidence. This will require prioritizing what is most important.

Examples of simple weight loss goals (Choose no more than 3):

  • Lose 1-2 pounds a week
  • Weigh in Weekly
  • Track foods in daily food diary
  • Walk 30 minutes to 1 hour daily
  • 10,000 Fitbit steps a day
  • Drink 64 ounces of water daily
  • Eat lean protein and healthy fat at every meal
  • Stick to daily goal macronutrient balance
  • Cut back from 3 alcoholic beverages a week to 1
  • Strength train twice a week
  • Pack daily lunch for work
  • Eat out at a restaurant twice a month
  • Cut out sugary beverages
  • Remove added sugar from diet by cutting out baked goods and packaged sweets

Don’t forget these goals still include the first step, make “I” statement and be as specific as possible.

A goal without a deadline is just a dream

Setting an end date makes the goal real. Deadlines create accountability, require monitoring, and ensure step wise progression toward measurable success.

An example of a specific resolution with an end date would be “I will lose 20 pounds to reach a healthy goal weight of 140 pounds by April 15, 2019”.

The goal must be realistic

Your goals are as realistic as you want them to be so this part of the exercise requires honesty. A disciplined person may be able to lose 20 pounds in a month with a well personalized plan, precise execution, and the perfect schedule; however, a busy executive with limited time, poor sleep habits, and a team of employees working long hours may find reaching an aggressive weight loss goal difficult.

When setting resolutions ask yourself, “what am I willing to give in order to achieve the outcome?”. Anything worth achieving requires sacrifice. The sacrifice may be time, dedication, discipline, discomfort, or disappointment. If you are unwilling to sacrifice, then find a new resolution.

Learn something worthwhile in the process

Weight loss is more about the journey than the destination. On the road toward long lasting weight loss results ask yourself the following:

  • How will I grow?
  • What will be added to my life?
  • What do I need to learn about myself?
  • What will I accomplish that will change my life forever?

Identify the Obstacles and Crush Them

There are guaranteed to be obstacles along the way! However, with proper planning most obstacles can be anticipated and what you can anticipate you can plan a strategy for. On the Resolution Worksheet next to every resolution identify a barrier and write out how you plan to overcome it.

Long term successful weight loss is just as much about diet and exercise as is it about strategy, planning, and execution.

Build Accountability

Accountability is paramount. On the journey to crushing obstacles and achieving goals your brain will play tricks on you. These “tricks” come in the form of resistance, self-doubt, and negative self talk. An accountability partner serves as a force outside of yourself to provide support, encouragement, and honesty.

The accountability partner is unique in that they lend a helping hand while upholding the promise you’ve made to yourself.

Examples of Accountability Partners:

  • Family member (spouse, sibling, child, parent)
  • Friend
  • Co-worker
  • Physician
  • Fitness trainer
  • Dietitian
  • Health Coach  

Build the maintenance plan into each goal

In the case of weight loss, achieving the resolution is only the beginning. The next step will be maintaining it. The best way to maintain a weight loss resolution is to build the maintenance plan into the original goal.

Celebrate Your Success and then Raise the Bar

Once you’ve completed the resolution then it is time to celebrate!

Reward yourself for a job well done but don’t stop there… after celebrating, raise the bar.

The brain needs constant challenges so although you’ve reached a goal it will be essential to continue making new and exciting resolutions year after year. Each year that you achieve a new resolution will provide the momentum needed for future resolutions.

Happy resolution making!

Hypothyroid and weight gain

How Hypothyroidism Causes Weight Gain

Anyone diagnosed with hypothyroidism (or under functioning or under-active thyroid gland) understands the frustration of watching their body change without permission. Weight gain occurs despite reduced appetite along with fatigue, dry hair and skin, constipation, cold temperature sensitivity, and depression. Hypothyroidism is most common in women and the chances of developing hypothyroidism increases with age and family history of thyroid or autoimmune disease. For the 20 million Americans diagnosed with hypothyroidism there is nothing that they have done to cause this disease and there is nothing they could have done to prevent it. It just happens.

What do thyroid hormones do?

Thyroid hormone is a requirement for a healthy normally functioning body because thyroid hormones have so many essential functions. These potent chemicals are released from a butterfly shaped organ located in the middle of the neck called the thyroid gland and have functions that span from brain and nerve maturation, temperature regulation, mood, memory, and metabolism.

Hypothyroid Symptoms

  • Gеnеrаl mаlаіѕе оr not feeling well
  • Fatigue
  • Cold Intolerance 
  • Constipation
  • Poor appetite
  • Dерrеѕѕіоn
  • Irritability
  • Brittle and dry or coarse hair
  • Weak and easily cracked or broken nails
  • Dry skin
  • Slow heart beat
  • Mental “Fogginess” and difficulty with memory

 

Hypothyroid and weight gain

Despite the assumption that all weight gain is due to overeating and sedentary behavior, patients with hypothyroidism rarely gain weight due to eating too many calories or foods high in sugar. Individuals with hypothyroidism tend to eat less due to a reduced appetite. On the contrary, individuals with hyperthyroidism – or an over functioning thyroid (the opposite of hypothyroidism) lose weight despite eating more calories due to constant hunger and increases in appetite. So how does weight gain occur in hypothyroidism? One cause is slow metabolism. Metabolism is the workhorse of the body. It is a huge part of how the body goes about doing its daily business. Metabolic actions range from converting cellular building blocks into a full product, breaking down substances, and converting calories and food (or fat stores) into fuel and energy. Because thyroid hormones aid in directing overall metabolism even the basal metabolic rate or metabolism at rest is lowered. Therefore the number of calories burned in a day is lower for someone with hypothyroidism in comparison to someone with normal thyroid function. A lower metabolism coupled with lack of energy, brain fog, feeling sluggish, and depressed makes weight gain inevitable. To counteract the unpleasant weight gain, sufferers of hypothyroidism often work harder to lose weight and this serves to only cause more weight gain. Continuing to fail at weight loss leads to more frustration and feelings of defeat. To add, attempts to cut caloric intake further reduce metabolic rate, exercise results in even lower energy and more fatigue, and any weight that is lost just leads to even lower metabolism. As weight continues to pile on it is most dramatic for individuals who were already overweight or obese prior to hypothyroidism.  The average amount of weight gain varies but it is common to see as much as a 20 pounds in only 1 to 2 months. Many medical blogs, articles, and even doctors will erroneously diminish the weight gained from hypothyroidism as only a few vanity pounds but that is not always true. Hypothyroidism not only causes weight gain but can make it extremely difficult to lose weight. It is not an excuse or crutch, it’s just a fact. So now what ?

Losing weight with hypothyroidism

The first steps toward weight loss are knowledge, understanding, and patience. Hypothyroidism causes weight gain and it is no one’s fault, it is unfortunately a normal physiological response to the absence of key metabolic hormones. The next step is to work with a physician to restore thyroid hormone. This is extremely important as it is impossible to live without thyroid hormone. The complete lack of thyroid hormone leads to coma, breathing issues, and ultimately death. The most common treatment for hypothyroidism is synthetic thyroxine or T4. A doctor will measure the level of these hormones along with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), a hormone from the brain that tells the thyroid gland to produce and release thyroid hormone. Once these hormones are restored symptoms of hypothyroidism will slowly start to fade, constipation is cured, slow heart rate normalizes, mental fogginess, and fatigue go away. Understand that some hypothyroid symptoms may linger despite normal hormone levels, such as fatigue, but over time all symptoms should continue to improve. Weight gain will unfortunately not go away overnight but it will make weight loss easier to obtain once thyroid hormones normalize.

What NOT to do to lose weight with hypothyroidism

During the time that thyroid levels are still abnormally low it is important to avoid strict dieting and caloric restriction because this will not work and will only make matters worse. It is also important to avoid rigorous exercise as this will not significantly impact basal metabolic rate and will only lead to more fatigue and frustration. The quality of exercise will be poor until other symptoms are optimized. While avoiding rigorous exercise, it is okay to work on building consistency with daily walking, light jogging, swimming, or biking. Strict dieting is not recommended, however, since gaining weight will be easier during this period, it is important to avoid large portions, excess calories, unnecessary calories from sugary beverages and alcohol, and foods with excess sugar and carbohydrates. Also avoid skipping meals. Meals should be well balanced, high in protein, low in sugar, and portion controlled. This will be a good time to use a calorie and macronutrient counter such as MyFitnessPal to keep track of food intake.

Will weight loss medication aid in weight loss for hypothyroidism ?

The answer is that it depends. It depends on the severity of thyroid disease, thyroid hormone levels, the weight loss medication utilized, and of course the patient. Weight loss medications can be effective by counteracting low metabolism and poor energy. However, weight loss medication is not a substitute for correcting thyroid hormone and should be considered secondary to proper thyroid management. It is important to work work with a weight loss doctor early in the process of hypothyroidism because the longer excess weight stays on the body the more difficult it will be to lose.